Summer Reading Project


Every year we do a summer reading project. This is a chance for us to continue to grow as a community even though we will be separated by many miles. This summer we’re reading three shorter works by CS Lewis: The Abolition of Man (full text on, The Four Loves (full text), and The Screwtape Letters (full text). I believe those links are legal – let me know if they are not.

Here’s the reading schedule.

Commencement is Sunday, June 17 – summer begins. 


the reading target Glen’s commentary
 Friday, June 22 The Abolition of Man (49 pages)
Chapter One: Men Without Chests
Chapter Two: The Way
Glen’s commentary: kicking off the summer reading project

Thoughts on chapters one and two

 Friday, June 29 Chapter Three: The Abolition of Man
Appendix: Illustrations of the Tao
Some choice quotes from the end of The Abolition of Man
 Friday, July 6 The Four Loves (97 pages)
Chapter One: Likings and Loves for the Sub-human
Glen’s thoughts on week three’s readings
 Friday, July 13 Chapter Two: Affection In which Glen goes on a slight rant about the limits of therapy.
 Friday, July 20 Chapter Three: Friendship Glen says: Chi Alpha friendships are awesome, although male-female friendships are complicated.
 Friday, July 27 Chapter Four: Eros Glen’s reflections on the absurdity of sex.
 Friday, August 3 Chapter Five: Charity Glen’s comments, including the most famous passage from The Four Loves
 Friday, August 10 The Screwtape Letters (119 pages)
Letters One Through Five
 Friday, August 17 Letters Six Through Twelve
 Friday, August 24 Letters Thirteen Through Nineteen
 Friday, August 31 Letters Twenty Through Twenty-Five
 Friday, September 7 Letters Twenty-Five Through Thirty
 Friday, September 14 Letter Thirty-One
Screwtape Proposes A Toast

Classes resume Monday, September 24 and our first worship services will begin that week.

We’re going to start keeping an archive of our previous summer reading projects for the curious

The 2017 Book: To Change The World

Our book this summer is To Change The World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James Davison Hunter, a Christian who is a sociologist at UVA. This is a thoughtful book about Christianity, politics, and culture.

From the publisher’s summary: “The call to make the world a better place is inherent in the Christian belief and practice. But why have efforts to change the world by Christians so often failed or gone tragically awry? And how might Christians in the 21st century live in ways that have integrity with their traditions and are more truly transformative?”

Two helpful reviews are at Books and Culture and 9Marks.

Special bonus – for the first time ever, our summer reading project is a book that is available online via the Stanford Library.

How To Participate

If you’re interested, fill out the form and read along with us! Incoming students as well as alumni are welcome to read along with us. Filling out the form means that we’ll add you to the discussions that we have about the book, but if you prefer to read on your own in total stealth mode, go for it.

Here’s the reading schedule.

Commencement is Sunday, June 18 – summer begins. 

 Friday, June 23 Essay I Christianity and World-Changing
Chapter One Christian Faith and the Task of World-Changing (5 pages)
Chapter Two Culture: The Common View (15 pages)
 Friday, June 30 Chapter Three The Failure of the Common View (16 pages)
Chapter Four An Alternative View of Culture and Cultural Change in Eleven Propositions (16 pages)
 Friday, July 7 Chapter Five Evidence in History (35 pages)
 Friday, July 14 Chapter Six The Cultural Economy of American Christianity (14 pages)
Chapter Seven For and Against the Mandate of Creation (4 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 4
 Friday, July 21 Essay II Rethinking Power
Chapter One The Problem of Power (2 pages)
Chapter Two Power and Politics in American Culture (10 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 5
 Friday, August 28 Chapter Three The Christian Right (29 pages) Glen’s commentary on week 6
 Friday, August 4 Chapter Four The Christian Left (22 pages) Glen’s commentary on week 7
 Friday, August 11 Chapter Five The Neo-Anabaptists (21 pages) Glen’s commentary on week 8
 Friday, August 18 Chapter Six Illusion, Irony, and Tragedy (10 pages)
Chapter Seven Rethinking Power: Theological Reflections (18 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 9
 Friday, August 25 Essay III Toward a New City Commons: Reflections on a Theology of Faithful Presence
Chapter One The Challenge of Faithfulness (15 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 10
 Friday, September 1 Chapter Two Old Cultural Wineskins (14 pages)
Chapter Three The Groundwork for an Alternative Way (13 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 11
 Friday, September 8 Chapter Four Toward a Theology of Faithful Presence (17 pages) Glen’s commentary on week 12
 Friday, September 15 Chapter Five The Burden of Leadership: A Theology of Faithful Presence in Practice (17 pages)
Chapter Six Toward a New City Commons (13 pages)
Glen’s commentary on week 13

Classes resume Monday, September 25 and our first worship services will begin that week.